We have seen such news for more than one time. Whether it is the apex, which is the concept machine that vivo must launch every year, or the four curved surface concept machine of Xiaomi, they all set the ultimate goal of the development of mobile phone form as the integrated form of "perfect without opening".
However, this is the most likely form to be the final answer in the current mobile phone development path, and almost all manufacturers are aware of this problem.
Oppo has also recently been revealed that it has made a non porous prototype in the laboratory, and retained the wired charging interface with a special structural design.
In fact, as early as 2007, Apple had a full body engineering machine without any openings and buttons, but the technical level at that time could not make such a product.
The development trend of mobile phones in recent years has made us feel that in the foreseeable future, mobile phones will certainly develop towards such integration.
How is the interface on the mobile phone killed step by step?
Although the current mass production machine has not been able to achieve "no holes", in order to reduce the "holes", manufacturers first use these interfaces on the mobile phone to "open".
The first is the disappearance of the headphone hole. This antique that has been active since we were born has been so easily "wiped out" by the iPhone 7 on mobile phones. Nowadays, if you want to use wired headphones, you can only plug them into the lighting / type-C interface.
This universal 3.5mm audio interface has existed in electronic devices for more than 40 years since it was first carried on the Walkman of Sony. Almost all earphones, audio and all kinds of devices that can play music use this interface, and its versatility has been incomparable.
But now, it is very difficult to find a product with headphone hole in today's mobile phone market. Even with headphone holes, most of these products are just entry-level products in mobile phones. The latest flagship models without exception cancel this interface, leaving Sony still adhering to this "belief".
The two main functions of this interface are charging and data transmission. In terms of transmission, the current speed of Wi Fi 6e and 5g is close to wired. And the wireless charging power has exceeded 67 W, even the actual charging time can be the same as wired charging. Although the current wireless charging is only a close contact type, and the long-distance wireless charging can only be realized in the laboratory, in the future, wireless charging will be more practical than it is now, and we have no reason to use wired charging.
So it's technically feasible to remove the charging interface. But wireless charger is not as popular as wired charging, once there is no wireless charger around, it is difficult to charge in emergency. Until the day when high-power wireless charging becomes popular, maybe some manufacturers will dare to completely cut off the charging interface. Before that, even if it is cut off, it should only hide the interface.
Before the beginning of "hole removal", mobile phone manufacturers have been working towards "integration"
As early as the birth of the iPhone, apple began to use the integrated body design of the non removable battery, and the trend of the integrated design of the whole body without holes was beginning to appear at that time.
The advantages of the non removable back cover can make the whole mobile phone more integrated, so that larger batteries can be plugged into the limited body, and the thickness and weight can be effectively controlled while the screen is getting larger and larger.
Android cancelled the buttons on the front of the phone earlier than the iPhone.
As early as the galaxy nexus, Google has made such an attempt to transplant the Android 3.0 virtual buttons from the tablet to the mobile phone. Although not all Android manufacturers have followed up this design, it has always been the most mainstream operation mode of the mobile phone before the advent of the era of full screen.
Apple uses a concave "virtual home key" on the iPhone 7, which uses the vibration of a linear motor to simulate the feeling of pressing down, thus confusing the fake with the real. A considerable number of users never find that the home key on the iPhone 7 can't be pressed. They always think that the home key will be locked when their iPhone is turned off.
After that, we are most familiar with the "full screen" era. Mobile phone manufacturers not only want to remove the interface and buttons, but also want to completely remove all the openings. It seems that whoever takes the lead in making an "integrated" mobile phone will be able to get the first mover advantage in the "full screen era" of mobile phones and get tickets for the next era.
The manufacturers first made up their minds about the side volume key. Mate 30 Pro adopted the virtual volume key, and used the curved screen with high curvature to design the virtual key in the position of the traditional volume key. Double click, you can exhale volume adjustment, slide up and down to adjust the volume.
In order to give users feedback, Huawei also uses linear motor vibration when users adjust the volume. Although it is difficult to simulate the feeling of actually pressing the volume button, the sliding up and down feel like a gear, which intuitively lets users "know" that they are adjusting the volume.
In order to get rid of a button and "simulate" it in a more complicated way, this is not a long-term solution after all. This kind of design is not followed up by many manufacturers. It may be too early to remove the side buttons.
Can you remove all the "holes" left on the mobile phone?
In fact, from a purely technical point of view, the current level of science and technology has been able to remove most of the holes. However, many "alternative technology" experiences without opening holes are not good enough, so it is difficult to persuade users to buy such a product that may experience degradation at a higher price.
From the era of full screen, the "hole" we want to solve most is actually the front camera. The manufacturers of light and distance sensors beside it can put them under the screen for a long time.
Whether it is to make the bangs smaller or to make the lifting mechanism structure, we all want to make the front area smaller or even hidden as far as possible, so as to achieve a perfect full screen.
With the advent of off screen camera technology, we now really have a way to "hide" it.
ZTE's axon 20 is the first under screen camera model to achieve mass production. But it's not perfect. Whether it's the screen strobe in the camera area or the low resolution, it always reminds users that there is a camera here.
In fact, this is one of the reasons why the mainstream manufacturers still have no real off screen camera products on the market, but have released engineering prototypes and concept machines one after another.
As for post photography, the electrochromic technology of concept one can also completely hide its appearance. However, the protruding problem of the camera may cause the mobile phone not to use too thick image module, otherwise the thickness of the body may make it impossible to look directly at it.
As for loudspeakers and earphones, we can use screen sound technology and exciter to make the screen vibrate instead of sound unit, which has been widely verified. Or bone conduction, or cantilever piezoelectric ceramics like the mix generation. In short, it's not difficult to make a sound without opening a hole in a mobile phone.
But how to hide the microphone is a difficult problem. If you want to transmit sound, it is very difficult to do without opening a hole. However, the semi permeable membrane technology can make tiny holes invisible to the naked eye but breathable, which may solve this problem.
Another difficulty is the SIM card slot of the mobile phone, but this is not a technical problem, but a problem of the interests of the operators. Today, when ESIM technology is so mature, which manufacturer can first persuade the operators to jointly launch ESIM mobile phone, which manufacturer can first make a truly perforated mobile phone.
However, the immature technologies such as off screen camera, pressure sensitive button, screen voice and hidden microphone are all concentrated on one product, and the actual experience is still unknown.
Will the next form of mobile phone after the completion of non porous be screen extension?
At present, the trend of mobile phone development is to realize "true full screen" in the foreseeable future, and the next stage may be "true perforated mobile phone". However, after these goals are achieved, will the development of mobile phones stop?
Of course not. The whole history of mobile phone development is that the screen of mobile phone is becoming larger and larger, and the proportion of screen is higher and higher. After the mobile phone screen has occupied the whole front of the mobile phone, the next step may be to further expand the screen.
And the most stable Apple seems to be in no hurry. Maybe the ultimate form of the iPhone is a complete "glass", just like the "water drop" of the trisomy, without any flaw.
It's hard to say what the future of mobile phones will be. Maybe it's a folding screen, or scroll screen, which is another way to expand the mobile screen, or Apple's idea of a perfect integrated mobile phone. Of course, the future of mobile phones will develop into something we can't imagine now, and it's still unknown.
However, far sighted manufacturers should have already started to prepare for it. Maybe they all have a "future mobile phone" in their laboratory.